James Bond - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

The Spy Who Loved Me would be the turning point for not only the series, but for the Roger Moore portrayal of Bond. Up until now the role of Bond had been played with more than a touch of humour (debatable or not as to whether that was of detriment to Moore's first two films). This film was different. The humour was still there, but it was more implied than overt, as had been the case previously. More sophisticated by far, it would be this, above anything else, that would steer the good ship James Bond for another four films until it would offload Moore and give someone else a chance.

The role is now more slick, laid back and with it than ever before. Much of the credit has to go to the scriptwriters for giving the actor almost a second chance (or coming?) as Bond. The series needed it, as did the actor - luckily both benefitted enormously from the change.

Bond the character, as has been mentionned elsewhere, is monogamous for the first time in the series (except the lady in the pre-credits sequence), so his pen-knife gets just one go at the bed post... The chance to ask for a Vodka Martini is thwarted once more (I don't think Roger ever gets to say it) courtesy of Anya Amasova, who has been doing her homework. Perhaps the element which stands out the most is the new car, though. A new Bond should always get a new car, but the producers left it two films too late for Moore. This vehicle makes up the difference, though, and is a fine definition of the Moore Bond: smart, sharp and very quick!

Conclusion: Perhaps the best film for Roger Moore, The Spy Who Loved Me allows the actor the privilege of making Bond his own... something which ought to have been done, perhaps, in Live And Let Die. The film fits him like Goldfinger did for Connery. There is more than a coinsidence here: Goldfinger and The Spy Who loved me are the respective actors' third film, they both introduce new and exciting cars and both exceeded the expectations created by the previous films (both imaginary and at the box office). Odd, to say the least... no, not the coincidences, Bond back in full naval uniform, for the first time since You Only Live Twice!

9½/10

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© Fastrac Publications June 2000. Site written and maintained by Fastrac007. Last updated 5th March 2001.